In a recent annual report the Climate Council crowed about its skill at planting stories in the media and how compliant journalists have provided “$50 million” worth of free publicity for the catastropharian cause. Those tactics are brazenly laid bare in the Council’s latest press release
Let it not be said that the hysterics at the Climate Council are anything but optimists, despite their dire prognostications for the future of the planet. Why else would Tim Flannery & Co keep Quadrant Online, this nest of proud “deniers”, on their mailing list? We’re grateful that they do, however, and not because we had a spare reporter to attend their “press briefing” this morning at Manly Beach, where a smorgasbord of canned quotes, camera-ready green faces, cute kiddies and — let us be blunt — catastropharian piffle was packaged, waiting and ready for obligingly incurious reporters.
And thank Gaia for that. Imagine how badly these dog and pony shows would go if reporters had the gall to ask how the world could be heading for a sweaty apocalypse when temperatures have flat-lined for almost 20 years? Such pesky seekers of truth might also be interested in learning if the settled scientists really, truly, genuinely believe the sun has no influence on planetary climate.
And if just such a troublesome priest in journalism’s down-at-heel temple of truth wished to be very cheeky indeed, he might ask what happened to the taxpayer millions gobbled by the “hot rocks” geothermal scheme Mr Flannery promoted. “That single deposit in Central Australia has enough embedded energy in it to run the entire Australian economy for a century,” he assured an interviewer. “The technology to extract that energy and turn it into electricity is relatively straightforward.” Alas, none of the great minds assembled to launch and develop the doomed GeoDynamics’ project knew that strong acid destroys iron pipes, as they were warned in 2009 before the first well was drilled. A cheeky reporter might even ask Professor Matthew England, on hand at Manly to give good quote, if Antarctica is still “stealing” Australia’s rainfall.
So why is this particular event noteworthy, given that no day passes without some or other prophet of doom insisting that Blackheath will be under water in no time flat, that every hot day is the foul work of coal-burning humans and Hobart will soon be the new Surfers Paradise?
Just this: while you will learn nothing from the beachside press briefing’s rote recitation of the climateer catechism, the press release announcing the event, reproduced and annotated below, will serve to illustrate how activists find it so easy to sell bills of goods to stenographers masquerading as journalists.
Watch and listen to the news as the day wears on. You can bet the ABC will be airing a story by lunchtime about the threat climate change is alleged to pose to Australia’s tourist industry . You can be confident, too, the Fairfax rags and Guardian will breathlessly report the predicted southern invasion by killer jellyfish. Quadrant Online will follow the coverage throughout the day and add links, when possible, to “news” reports that go to air just as the Climate Council might have ordered. Except there will be no need for orders. Reporters these days are happy — nay, eager — to make no trouble and do as they are bid.
The press release is below in red. The links and italicised commentary are all ours. And don’t for a moment imagine the Climate Council doesn’t know how easy it is get reporters to publish exactly what it wants them to publish. From the Council’s 2016 annual report:
GRABS + VISION: Australia’s natural attractions in climate firing line
Translation: Take note, reporters, no work required. Turn up and we’ll do the rest. All you need to do is air what we arrange for you.
THE CLIMATE COUNCIL is set to launch its major national report ‘Icons at Risk: Climate Change Threatening Australian Tourism’ today.
Warning: don’t ask about our litany of dud prophecies, of which there are many. Be a team player, parrot the report’s talking points and don’t, under any circumstances, even think of contacting for quotes and comment anyone who might disagree with us.
The national report shows that Australia’s most popular tourist destinations are in the climate firing line, with intensifying climate change posing a significant threat to the nation’s iconic natural wonders.
There is your lead paragraph, men and women of the press. Just re-write it a little bit and we’ll all be very happy.
It includes state breakdowns highlighting how intensifying extreme weather events (heatwaves, coastal flooding, soaring temperatures, bushfires and coral bleaching) are placing our beaches, native wildlife, wilderness areas, national parks and Great Barrier Reef at risk.
If you want to add any additional threats to your reports — dehydrated koalas, hungry but increasingly incompetent sharks, lethal sports stadiums — feel free to make up something outrageous. We do all the time.
DATE: TODAY, THURSDAY FEBRUARY 8, 2018
TIME: 10:30AM AEST
LOCATION: MANLY BEACH, SYDNEY (meeting point: The Pantry Cafe)
TV GRABS & VISION AVAILABLE FOR MEDIA OUTLETS (see below)
The event is timed to make sure the first reports go to air at noon. We’ve done all your work for you, members of the press, so don’t let us down. Seriously, we love you and know you’ll make us happy.
EXPERT TALENT AVAILABLE:
- Professor Lesley Hughes, Climate Councillor, ecologist and report lead author
- Dr Martin Rice, Climate Council Acting CEO and Head of Research
- Parents/children talking about protecting the Aussie summer holiday
Reporters, please refrain from asking Professor Hughes if her faith in Michael “Hockey Stick”Mann remains undiminished. As for Dr Rice, he would prefer if you didn’t ask how he feels about his comments on the looming climate catastrophe being illustrated as recently as last month with a picture of Victoria’s Hume Dam at only 4% capacity. The Hume reservoir hasn’t been at that level since 2009 and is today (February 8) at 59.6% of capacity.
KEY FINDINGS INCLUDE:
- Australia’s top five natural tourist attractions (beaches, wildlife, the Great Barrier Reef, wilderness and national parks) are all at risk of climate change.
- Beaches, like Manly, are Australia’s #1 tourist destination and are threatened by rising sea levels.
- Sydney, Melbourne, Hobart, Cairns, Darwin, Fremantle and Adelaide are projected to have a least a 100x increase in the frequency of coastal flooding events (with a 0.5m sea level rise).
- The Red Centre could experience more than 100 days above 35 oC annually, by 2030. By 2090, there could be more than 160 days per year over 35oC.
- The Top End could see an increase in hot days (temperatures above 35ºC) from 11 (1981-2010 average) to 43 by 2030, and up to 265 by 2090.
- 17-23% of surveyed tourists would respond to beach damage scenarios by switching holiday destinations, with an estimated $56 million loss per year for Sunshine Coast in Queensland and $20 million per year for the Surf Coast in Victoria.
- The deadly irukandji jellyfish have been observed as far south as Hervey Bay and Fraser Island and could eventually be found as far south as the Gold Coast.
There, your stories are written for you. And whatever else you mention from our doomsday list, don’t forget those killer jellyfish.
- Families and children enjoying the beach and talking about the importance of preserving our natural assets.
- NEWS GRABS + VISION/BROADCAST QUALITY INTERVIEWS AVAILABLE
- If you are unable to attend the media launch in Sydney, the Climate Council can shoot broadcast quality TV interviews and send to you via Dropbox – please contact me to organise in advance.
We make it so easy for you reporters to spread our message and only our message! We’ve lined up cute kids (multi-ethnic varieties available on request) and Greens-voting mums and dads to go before your cameras as random examples of the overwhelming community pressure to further hike electricity prices.
And notice, too, that if there is a more pressing and credible story — Bert Newton’s abduction by space aliens, for instance — we can shoot your entire report and give you the video for the nightly news. All you will need to do is read out our talking points, especially the killer jellyfish making southern Queensland uninhabitable.
For an advanced copy of the report, to send interview questions or for more information, please contact Senior Communications Advisor Alexia Boland on XXXX XXX XXX.